Softening stand, India talks dialogue with US

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2013 23:45 IST

India on Saturday toned down its posturing, as efforts are underway to resolve the crisis arising out of the ill-treatment meted to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade charged with underpaying her domestic help.

Though the US stood its ground on not dropping charges against her and tendering an apology, Washington too said they are in “conversation to find a way out”.

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid maintained his conciliatory tone since Friday and termed the relationship “extremely exceptionally valuable,” a sentiment reciprocated by the US State Department which said, “it is important to preserve and protect our partnership.”

“I believe people in both countries wouldn’t want the old ties we share to get unsettled by this lone incident. That is why the dialogue going on between us should be allowed to continue,” Khurshid added. “We are in a conversation at different levels. Let the conversation go to its logical conclusion,” the minister said. Urging the US to “understand the value of the relationship”, Khurshid asked whether it was “unreasonable” for India to expect Washington to allow its diplomat to serve with dignity. Commerce minister Anand Sharma on Saturday said that the commercial ties between India and the US will not be impacted by the arrest of an Indian diplomat and the “relation ship will go stronger”.

“In mature democracies issues get addressed. Issues are not allowed to cast shadow over what is truly a building partnership,” Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of the 86th annual general meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry held here. “India is outraged over the treatment given out to Devyani, but our relationship with US is far too important. It is a strategic partnership between the two largest democracies of the world. It (relationship) is strategic in every sense, so we are not disengaging,” the minister said.

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